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~DOWNLOAD BOOK ☩ The White Earth ♷ After his father s death, young William is cast upon the charity of an unknown great uncle, John McIvor The old man was brought up expecting to marry the heiress to Kuran Station a grand estate in the Australian Outback only to be disappointed by his rejection and the selling off of the land He has devoted his life to putting the estate back together and has moved into the once elegant mansion McIvor tries to imbue William with his obsession, but his hold on the land is threatened by laws entitling the Aborigines to reclaim sacred sites William s mother desperately wants her son to become John McIvor s heir, but no one realizes that William is ill and his condition is worsening 3.5 stars I m rather conflicted about this book I could not put it down for the first half of it, but then it petered out, started moving very slowly and seemed to lose its way The two overarching story lines came together in a rather interesting climax, but then the book just finished with no real resolution, which was quite disappointing. Not a bad read won the Miles Franklin A bit soapy writing sometimes a bit clunky, and the boy of 9 yrs who is central character possibly can t be as wise as this quite as quickly 3rd person voice a bit wobbly in other words It s dealing with Mabo though plus a Thornbirds type twisted landed family theme so will be interested to see how it ends other than in tears which is my bet OK finished it now Way weird attempt at dream nightmare time Aboriginal sequence before everything burnt Not a bad read won the Miles Franklin A bit soapy writing sometimes a bit clunky, and the boy of 9 yrs who is central character possibly can t be as wise as this quite as quickly 3rd person voice a bit wobbly in other words It s dealing with Mabo though plus a Thornbirds type twisted landed family theme so will be interested to see how it ends other than in tears which is my bet OK finished it now Way weird attempt at dream nightmare time Aboriginal sequence before everything burnt down and spent back half of book wishing they d hurry on and diagnose the stink pain in the kid s ear Nearly gave me a pain in mine Was waaaay over it by the time it finished and everything predictably burnt down Hoping they don t turn this one into a telemovie The White Earth has been described as an example of Australian gothic and it certainly makes use of gothic elements The whole story is based around a decaying mansion where the main character William and his mother are forced to live when his father dies in a farming accident This house is inhabited by William s bitter, angry uncle who is seeking an heir for Kuran station and who latches onto William as his last hope, and his sinister housekeeper who could have stepped straight out of the pa The White Earth has been described as an example of Australian gothic and it certainly makes use of gothic elements The whole story is based around a decaying mansion where the main character William and his mother are forced to live when his father dies in a farming accident This house is inhabited by William s bitter, angry uncle who is seeking an heir for Kuran station and who latches onto William as his last hope, and his sinister housekeeper who could have stepped straight out of the pages of Rebecca There are dark secrets and ghostly visions and everything goes up in flames at the end Interwoven into this story is the political issue of Aboriginal land rights and Australia s very bloody and shameful history It s an ambitious attempt to intermarry the gothic tradition with political issues but in my opinion it doesn t work.To be brutally honest the first word that sprang to mind for me as I started reading this book was amateur I was expecting a certain standard of literary merit for a Miles Franklin winning book and the writing did not live up to this standard The language is not sophisticated or rich and I was baffled about how the book could have won such a prestigious award Then I realized that it was the issue of land rights and the Mabo decision that probably resonated with the judges and this just made me feel evendisillusioned because the book only addresses these issues in a very superficial, heavy handed way This heavy handedness is obvious in the symbolism The original station owners for example were called White hence the title and William is haunted by a rotting smell throughout the book that turns out to be coming from his infected ear but is clearly meant to symoblise the death and destruction that Kuran station was founded on enough with the damn ear ache already All the visions and William s wanderings through the darkness should have been dream like and poetic but I found myself skipping many of these passages out of boredom.Then there s the whole issue of place and time One reviewer described the book as timeless in a complimentary way, and I have to agree with the description but for me this was one of the biggest faults of the book I knew very little about The White Earth when I started reading it and I found it impossible to work out what period it was set in for several chapters A boy of William s age would be immersed in popular culture but there no mention of anything he liked to do and no other references to events or objects that would place it in the 1990s Although the book deals with Australian politics and history there s also nothing about this book that anchored it in rural Australia for me I got no sense at all of the Australian bush, landscape, culture or people from this novel The dialogue did not help to distinguish the characters or ground them There was a whole lot of telling in the book, particularly in the chapters written from John McIvor s perspective Much of the dialogue about Mabo and history came across as information dumping If you want to read a book that really captures the essence of rural Australia then try Foals Bread by Gillian Mears For an account of the brutality of colonisation you can t do better than Kate Grenville s The Secret River.Land rights and Mabo are very worth subjects to write about and should be explored in a serious way This gothic approach does not do them justice in my opinion because it goes for cheap thrills, clich d characters and melodramatic plot developments The ending was particularly heavy handed and ridiculous It also doesn t include a single Indigenous voice Although the Mabo legislation was all about Aboriginal rights they remain on the margins in the book as shadowy figures in a painting, ghostly victims of violence discarded at the bottom of the water hole, or cautious, watchful women on the former mission at Cherbourg There s nothing about the ongoing impact of colonisation on Indigenous people apart from a rose tinted reference to Cherbourg as a self governing community I was very dissatisfied with this novel which explains why it took me FOREVER to get through it To be completely honest, this was not my cup of tea I read it for a class on current issues in contemporary Australian literature and while I absolutely recognise this book s cultural value and understand why it was so well received, I did not really enjoy my time reading it.The main reason for this was that I found it rather boring Not all that much happens at all and the things that do happen did not interest me much I could have gathered the actual message from scientific texts, which woul To be completely honest, this was not my cup of tea I read it for a class on current issues in contemporary Australian literature and while I absolutely recognise this book s cultural value and understand why it was so well received, I did not really enjoy my time reading it.The main reason for this was that I found it rather boring Not all that much happens at all and the things that do happen did not interest me much I could have gathered the actual message from scientific texts, which would have saved me a great deal of time Apart from that, I hated most of the characters I liked Ruth, but it s not like she appears all that often William was alright, too He reminds me of Scout fromTo Kill a Mockingbird , as he is an innoct child confronted with rasicm without really understanding it However, his perspective like Scout s comes with certain limitations The reader is somewhat chained to a child s mind and it is frustrating to see what William sees and to watch him draw his conclusions, all the while knowing better.I did enjoy the writing itself, though It was not very impressive or anything, but I felt like it was easy to take in so that I got through the book relatively quickly Moreover, I liked the short chapters I ve been super busy lately and there hasn t been much time for reading I always find that shorter chapters are ideal for train rides and the like so that you re not forced to sit down and read for hours to actually get into the story.All in all, I m giving this three stars It would be two if we were simply talking about whether I had a good time reading it However, we re also talking about literary and cultural value, so let s make it three The winner of the 2005 Australian literary prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, this is a stunning novel set in the Darling Downs, a diverse farming region west of Brisbane Prior to European settlement, because of its lush indigenous grasses,the region was important as a food source and culturally to the local Aborigine tribes The arrival of the European farmers in the 1820s and 1830s put a stop to that, and the Downs quickly became the food basket for the region Farming communities and The winner of the 2005 Australian literary prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award, this is a stunning novel set in the Darling Downs, a diverse farming region west of Brisbane Prior to European settlement, because of its lush indigenous grasses,the region was important as a food source and culturally to the local Aborigine tribes The arrival of the European farmers in the 1820s and 1830s put a stop to that, and the Downs quickly became the food basket for the region Farming communities and towns quickly developed, as did large stations and homesteads which dominated their local communities The indigenous people, as happened many places elsewhere, were displaced and effectively disappeared With this background in mind, the story begins in 1992 with 9 year old William s father having an unfortunate accident on the farm, resulting in his death Forced to leave the farm, William and his depressed mother are taken in by an unknown great uncle, John McIvor, who owns what is left of one of the big stations, Kuran station established by the White family He lives in the huge original and now very derelict homestead The motives for this altruistic act become fairly clear as John attempts to mould, some would say brainwash, young William into his heir It also becomes fairly clear that John is quite mad, with an unwavering obsession to keep the property in family ownership This, of course, makes for quite a dangerous situation for a 9 year old boy to be in No father and a non functioning mother means he finds himself slowly being drawn into the spell his great uncle is weaving.At the same time, law changes are taking place that will give local Aborigines greater claim to lands that were traditionally used before European settlement John knows secrets about the land the station is on that pertain to this, and he is determined that no one else will find out about them, thus safeguarding the property for his own interests.Sinister yes, and spooky yes, underlying tension and danger oozing throughout the narrative, with young William being manipulated beyond his childish understanding And yet, the uncle never comes across as evil His whole life has revolved around Kuran station, he loves the land with a deep passion and enormous respect, and although he doesn t have the financial resources to make it productive again as it once was, he does not want to see it destroyed The gift of the clever writer is that you actually do feel sorry for the old man as he tries to protect all that is important to him.Any 9 year old child left to their own devices will project their own imagination and childish perceptions of the world onto what is going on around them As William comesandunder the spell of his great uncle s dream, he almost begins to operate in a parallel universe so that as the reader, at times you don t quite know yourself what is real and what is not.The story is cleverly told, with chapters alternating between John s story which essentially tells the history of Europeans in the area since the 1820s and how he came to be at Kuran and William s story There is always a sense of impending doom, with the two symbols of white and fire constantly threading themselves through the story The third character in the story is the land itself What a love for the land this author has the vast pastures, the hills, the water holes, the dryness, the dust, the rain when it occurs I read an interview with the author which I now cannot find He grew up on the Downs so has this deep seated love and respect for the land plus a number of things that happened in the book also happened to him.My only criticism of the book is that I did feel at times, William was much older than 9 years old He has to deal with a lot, and some of his perceptions and reactions are way beyond what I think a 9 year old s brain would process Nevertheless this is a marvellous story of Australia and the continuing conflict between the traditional owners of the land and the European new comers I bought this book about twelve years ago because I was interested in reading an Australian Gothic, and while I picked it up a few times over the years, it never pulled me in Well, I finally finished it and it was not worth the wait Overall, The White Earth was amateurish the prose was unremarkable, the characters artificial, and the so called stunning conclusion , while full of melodrama, was actually pretty tedious McGahan attempts to explore a crucial aspect of Australian history and pol I bought this book about twelve years ago because I was interested in reading an Australian Gothic, and while I picked it up a few times over the years, it never pulled me in Well, I finally finished it and it was not worth the wait Overall, The White Earth was amateurish the prose was unremarkable, the characters artificial, and the so called stunning conclusion , while full of melodrama, was actually pretty tedious McGahan attempts to explore a crucial aspect of Australian history and politics, but I don t think he ever did it justice To finish on a positive note, I was satisfied to finally find out what was going on with William s ear, after a thousand mentions of it The White Earth is a very well written piece of Australian literature which highlights our short yet complex history, the invasion of the land by the white people and the disruptions it caused for many, many generations and how it still impacts society today Young William is the POV, his father dies in a farm fire leaving his already mentally unstable mother a widow and penniless They move in with his great uncle John McIvor, into a dilapidated homestead on Kuran Station in the Darling Downs The White Earth is a very well written piece of Australian literature which highlights our short yet complex history, the invasion of the land by the white people and the disruptions it caused for many, many generations and how it still impacts society today Young William is the POV, his father dies in a farm fire leaving his already mentally unstable mother a widow and penniless They move in with his great uncle John McIvor, into a dilapidated homestead on Kuran Station in the Darling Downs William finds his new home aversive and is intrigued by his mysterious uncle who doesn t introduce himself until a week later William is diagnosed with a fake illness so he can take 3 months off school to fulfil a role his Uncle has in store for him His uncle has a strong connection with the land, a connection he doesn t want lost when he dies William has until the end of the year to earn the right to inherit the station but at 9 years old he isn t even sure he wants it We learn of his uncle s long fight to be the landowner of Kuran Station which tookthan 40 years John s story was told very well and it made the story so muchrobust as the present day was complimented with the past.The characters of John and William were very well developed and to a lesser extent Ruth, John s daughter They had very real motivations, desires and conflicts I felt frustration and anger towards William s mother who remains indifferent and depressed throughout the story, unaware of the impact her emotional absence has on her young son The White Earth had me guessing to the very end what would happen to the property and how William would make sense of it all It was very cleverly written and left me contemplating historical and political issues that have persisted into modern day Australia Disclaimer this is one of eight external assessment novels for senior English syllabus Qld 2019.The blurb is quite accurate part family saga, part history, part gothic but it fails to state how truly grim this read is going to be Set on the Darling Downs of Qld, it spans 150 years It deals with Native Title legislation, the Mabo decision and politics in Australia The protagonist John McIvor blindly pursues the possession of property to the detriment of family, relationships and happiness Disclaimer this is one of eight external assessment novels for senior English syllabus Qld 2019.The blurb is quite accurate part family saga, part history, part gothic but it fails to state how truly grim this read is going to be Set on the Darling Downs of Qld, it spans 150 years It deals with Native Title legislation, the Mabo decision and politics in Australia The protagonist John McIvor blindly pursues the possession of property to the detriment of family, relationships and happiness Themes, symbolism and motifs are incredibly easy to identify and would be the only redeeming reason to subject students to this novel Reasons not to make students suffer through this long winded tirade are the lack of a single positive female character unpleasant, embittered male characters, and the implausibly ridiculous notion that a 9 year old boy would ever have the insight readers need to believe possible in this saga A depressing, grim, sad, and unrelentingly negative novel A Disturbing Novel by Australian Author who received the Miles Franklin Award in 2005.Andrew McGahan wrote about an area where he grew up and describes the area with great feeling.The book is Motivated by the Mabo Legislation and deals with reactions to this based on ownership of the land and consequences for the property Ownwers It delves into Aboriginal History and Folklore and makes a very powerful observation about LandRights which I found very thought provoking.Throughout the book images o A Disturbing Novel by Australian Author who received the Miles Franklin Award in 2005.Andrew McGahan wrote about an area where he grew up and describes the area with great feeling.The book is Motivated by the Mabo Legislation and deals with reactions to this based on ownership of the land and consequences for the property Ownwers It delves into Aboriginal History and Folklore and makes a very powerful observation about LandRights which I found very thought provoking.Throughout the book images of Fire and burning recur Mostly these images are associated with death and it is interesting that the Aboriginal asociation with fire is very positive and productive but the White asociation is one of death and destruction The story moved on relentlessly to the horrific climax I felt a little annoyed that such devestation could occur I think I needed somethingpositive.I didn t agree that William should be subjected to a life of suffering and torment to compensate for the sins of others I wanted something better to come out of all the horror.Mabo however was a positve outcome for Land rights and a r ecognition of some terrible injustices which had occurred